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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Chip Chip Cheerio - Back in Palo Alto Schools

Uploaded: May 14, 2015
We're back in the classroom this week and next with Snack Attack! #3. Four hundred Palo Alto, Barron Park Elementary and Middle School students are going hands-on making this year's snacks:

1) Everything But The Kitchen Sink Asian Lettuce Cups with Almond Coconut Drizzle*

2) Pumpkin-Sesame-Sunflower-Blueberry-Apple-Hemp-Honey Date Bars

3) Cheesy Kale Chips

4) Standing Devils

Homemade kale chips are often burnt, or the opposite, undercooked and lacking that passionate crumble. But you have the power to overcome this fate.

SECRETS TO A CRISPY KALE CHIP

1) Don't just toss your raw "chips" in a bowl with oil. Quick dip (don't overload) your fingers in olive oil and rub into each chip, coating everywhere while thinking about something you love. Massage the oil onto the chips ? it feels great, and doesn't take that long to complete the task.



2) Keep the oven low, lengthen the cook time (think dehydrate, not bake), and check every now and again because some chips get done before others. You want green, not brown. And it's not a size thing; big or small chips can cook faster. It's a weight thing. The chip should feel like a feather and go cruunnnnnch as it whimsically disappears in your mouth.

So chip-chip-cheerio. While we are at Barron Park School, Snack Attack! will honor their three 2015 Future Chef "healthy snack," winners, and we'll post some fun photos from the events as they come in.

REMEMBER ? kids like to cook, and they can teach us to relax into, and enjoy it again too.

Kale Cheezy Chips

1 bunch curly kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
salt

Preheat oven to 225°F.

Lay a leaf of kale flat and cut out the rib, compost or chop finely. Cut into bite size pieces. Wash and dry well. I spin them, them put out on a baking sheet to air dry for at least a ½ hour.

Put olive oil in a bowl. Quick dip your fingers in and rub onto and into each piece, making sure they get coated everywhere. Put in a mixing bowl and toss well with nutritional yeast and salt to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 1 ? 1.25 hours till they are light and crisp. I flip them every 25 minutes. Some crisp faster than others, so remove those when they are ready. The goal is chips that are still green, not brown.

Getting ready for class



Snack Attack! students showing off their creations.



School programs are nothing without great volunteers. Thanks ladies!






* Yup- still munching almonds. But change is coming. Did I hear this right - it takes one gallon of water to grow one almond? And then today we learned that 40% of the commercial bee population (almonds' best friend) disappeared last year. California grows 100% of commercial almonds in North America. Looks like we'll be headin' back to Georgia soon.


Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Eva, a resident of another community,
on May 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

Thank you Chef Laura for bringing Snack Attack back to Barron Park School. The kids love learning about healthy snacking and making the snacks themselves.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

Eva, Thank you and always my pleasure. We missed you this week - come for the next series. A number of students and adults asked for the recipes which I sent to the school. We should publish them gain in the school newspaper.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

Interesting lunch program note here. I just learned / saw yesterday that for the first time in it's history, the National School Lunch Program no longer requires students to take a milk. This is now optional as of this week. What is mandatory is taking a fruit or vegetable now. CHIP CHIP CHEERIO!!!!!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Dustin Nakayama, a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School,
on May 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

Very interesting program Chef Laura. I wanted to let you know about another innovative concept when it comes to teaching kids about food and great healthy habits, Che Koochooloo, is a new startup that launched in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, teaching kids math, science and geography through cooking. Check them out here, do you have any ideas on how they can expand their program to Palo Alto Schools?

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 21, 2015 at 6:38 am

Dustin, Good work! And yes - all schools need food education and many are open to outside instruction. Volunteering the services of your organization is a good way to get known in the community and build your business. Pick your school, find a parent and approach the principal. I bet they say yes!



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